White-winged Snowfinch Montifringilla nivalis


Taxonomic note
Montifringilla nivalis and M. henrici (del Hoyo and Collar 2016) were previously lumped as M. nivalis following AERC TAC (2003); Cramp et al. (1977-1994); Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 16,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 16,300,000 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Number of mature individuals poor estimated 2009
Population trend stable suspected -
Generation length (years) 2.8 - - -

Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 520,000-1,600,000 breeding pairs, equating to 1,560,000-4,800,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2004). Europe forms 25-49% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 3,180,000-19,200,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan extant native yes
Albania extant native yes
Andorra extant native yes
Armenia extant native yes
Austria extant native yes
Azerbaijan extant native yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina extant native yes
China (mainland) extant native yes
Croatia extinct native yes
Czechia extant native yes
France extant native yes
Georgia extant native yes
Germany extant native yes
Greece extant native yes
Hungary extant vagrant yes
India extant native yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of extant native yes
Iraq extant native yes
Italy extant native yes
Kazakhstan extant native yes
Kyrgyzstan extant native yes
Liechtenstein extant native yes
Mongolia extant native yes
Montenegro extant native yes
North Macedonia extant native yes
Pakistan extant native yes
Portugal extant vagrant yes
Russia extant native yes yes
Russia (Asian) extant native yes
Russia (Central Asian) extant native yes
Russia (European) extant native yes
Serbia extant native yes
Slovenia extant native yes
Spain extant native yes
Switzerland extant native yes
Tajikistan extant native yes
Türkiye extant native yes
Uzbekistan extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Armenia Pombak mountain chain
Serbia Prokletije
Serbia Sara mountain
Greece Mount Olympos
Greece Tymfi (Gkamila) and Smolikas mountains
Greece Mount Gkiona
Greece Mount Parnassos
Azerbaijan Zakataly
Switzerland Pre-alpine region of Pays d'Enhaut
Switzerland Augstmatthorn
Switzerland Upper Toggenburg and Säntis
Switzerland Central Valais between Sierre and Visp
Switzerland Valley of Zermatt
Switzerland Aletsch region
Switzerland Heinzenberg mountain and surrounding valleys
Switzerland Lower Engadine and Swiss National Park
Switzerland Simplon region
Switzerland Maggia valley
Switzerland Piora - Dötra
Switzerland Bregaglia valley
Switzerland Pre-alpine region of Schwyz
France Parc National de la Vanoise
Türkiye Bolkar Mountains
Afghanistan Big Pamir
Afghanistan Small Pamir
Afghanistan Salang Kotal
Afghanistan Bande Amir
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lar River Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Oshtrankuh Protected Area
Russia (European) Kabardino-Balkarski Nature Reserve
Russia (European) Alaniya National Park
Uzbekistan Angren Plateau
Türkiye Eastern Black Sea Mountains
Tajikistan Bulunkul and Yashilkul lakes and mountains
Tajikistan Zorkul Nature Reserve (Lake Victoria)
Tajikistan Karakul lake and mountains
Tajikistan Rangkul valley (Rangkul & Shorkul Lakes)
Tajikistan Dzhavshangoz
Tajikistan Kondara Gorge
Tajikistan Iskanderkul lake and mountains
Tajikistan Drumkul Lake
Kazakhstan Almaty State Nature Reserve
Tajikistan Aktash massif
Tajikistan Ishkashim
Russia (European) Bazarduyzi and Shalbuzdag alpine mountains
Uzbekistan Pulatkhan Gorge
Uzbekistan Oygaing River Valley
North Macedonia Shar Planina Mountain
Türkiye Girdev Lake and Akdağlar
Türkiye Bey Mountains
Türkiye Munzur Mountains
Türkiye Buzul and İkiyaka Mountains
North Macedonia River Radika catchment
Italy Maiella, Pizzi and Frentani mountains
Italy Abruzzo National Park
Italy Gran Sasso and Laga mountains
Türkiye Ağrı Mount
Kyrgyzstan Gorge Tash-Rabat
Kyrgyzstan Eastern Alai
Mongolia Khokh Serkhiin Nuruu
Mongolia Tsengel Khairkhan Mountain
Kazakhstan Aksu-Dzhabagly State Nature Reserve
Slovenia Julijci
Slovenia Karavanke
Spain Babia-Somiedo
Spain Picos de Europa mountain range
Spain Ordesa-Bielsa
Spain Posets-Maladeta
Iraq Peramagroon Mountain
Türkiye Aladağlar

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) major resident
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Montifringilla nivalis. Downloaded from on 28/09/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/09/2023.